Monthly Archives: August 2012

Approaches to the Common Core: ARGUMENT VS. EVIDENCE, THE BIG PICTURE

One of the things students struggle with the most—and it’s relevant to every grade and subject—is distinguishing between argument and evidence.  This problem manifests itself in both reading and writing: in reading, students often cannot pick topic sentences or thesis … Continue reading

Posted in Argument, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Reading, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Approaches to the Common Core: IDIOMS ARE SPEED BUMPS*

Some people refer to paraphrasing as “literal comprehension,” meaning, “You can tell what is literally going on or being said.”  And to some extent, that’s accurate.  But there’s more to it.  In any given sentence, FIGURATIVE things are also happening … Continue reading

Posted in ELA Common Core Standards, Idioms, Inference, Nonfiction, Paraphrasing, Reading, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, TLC Website Resources | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Approaches to the Common Core: UNPACKING SYNTAX AND GRAMMAR*

We’ve established that in order to paraphrase, you need to unpack syntax and grammar.  So, how should you teach grammar?  For many years, I wrestled with this question.  Should it stand alone, or somehow be incorporated into writing instruction?  For … Continue reading

Posted in ELA Common Core Standards, Grammar, Paraphrasing, Reading, Resources, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Approaches to the Common Core: ROOT OF THE WEEK*

We’ve established that in order to paraphrase, you need to unpack vocabulary.  And in order to unpack vocabulary, you need word-attack skills and knowledge of roots (e.g., Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes).  While some schools use “The Word … Continue reading

Posted in ELA Common Core Standards, Inference, Paraphrasing, Reading, Roots, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, TLC Website Resources | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Approaches to the Common Core: HOW TO PARAPHRASE*

One of the most fundamental skills you need in order to comprehend ANYTHING is the ability to put things in your own words—in other words (wink, wink), to paraphrase.  Given how important this skill is, it’s stunning how few people … Continue reading

Posted in ELA Common Core Standards, Nonfiction, Paraphrasing, Reading, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, TLC Website Resources | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Approaches to the Common Core: TEACHING “WHAT’S IMPORTANT”*

For me, the problem became apparent even before the Common Core came to town. One day as several colleagues and I analyzed the results of a 9th-grade critical reading assessment, we noticed that students had done poorly on “inferring main … Continue reading

Posted in ELA Common Core Standards, Main Idea, Nonfiction, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, TLC Website Resources | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Approaches to the Common Core: NONFICTION VS. EVERYTHING ELSE*

Label the following genres as NF (Nonfiction) or F (Fiction).  Even if you think some could be BOTH, pick the one that is MOSTLY true. Novels F Newspaper articles   Math textbook passages   Science textbook passages   Social studies … Continue reading

Posted in ELA Common Core Standards, Nonfiction, Reading, Reading Informational Text, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Approaches to the ELA Common Core Standards: CURRICULUM RESOURCES

Writing CURRICULUM?  Looking for RESOURCES? 1. Make sure you have ready access to the standards, which you can find here in PDF or on the “Standards” page of The Literacy Cookbook in Excel. (PS–To download the “K-12 ELA Common Core … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment(s), Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Professional Development, Resources, TLC Website Resources, Unit-planning | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Approaches to the Common Core: OUTLINING YOUR FIRST UNIT

If you have done the work of paraphrasing the RIT standards and brainstorming on ways to teach them (and assuming you don’t have a curriculum that is already aligned, which is true for most people), start mapping out your first … Continue reading

Posted in Analyzing the Common Core Standards, Argument, Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Genre, Inference, Paraphrasing, Professional Development, Reading, Reading Informational Text, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Approaches to the Common Core: HOW CAN I TRAIN MY STAFF?

If you’re in charge of facilitating staff development on the Common Core, I would recommend that you spend an hour on your own working through one grade’s RIT standards.  For each standard, do what I just did with RIT 5.1: … Continue reading

Posted in Analyzing the Common Core Standards, ELA Common Core Standards, Inference, Paraphrasing, Professional Development, Reading, Reading Informational Text, TLC Website Resources | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment